June 9, 2020 / 4:14 PM / a month ago

GSK begins U.S. test of experimental drug for pneumonia from COVID-19

A GSK logo is seen on a flag at a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) research centre in Stevenage, Britain November 26, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Files

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has started a trial in the United States to test an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug on patients suffering from pneumonia caused by COVID-19, the British drugmaker said on Tuesday.

The company said it plans to expand trial activity to sites in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, South America and Africa.

GSK, which announced plans for the trial in May, has found that otilimab could ease the devastating effect of the virus on the lungs but not suppress it directly.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Goodman

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